226 seconds of blues at CC’s birthday party

Larry got the band back together! Well, I guess they’d already done one gig together earlier this year. But this was still a pretty special occasion! Larry was in a band back when he and Chris first met. Chris used to go to all their gigs and would dance all night. When she decided to have a big birthday party this year, Larry thought it would be appropriate if him and the boys provided the music. It was.

Here’s a bit of introduction and a Larry solo.

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75 seconds of slapping and rapping a bell in Worcester city hall

We recently drove down to Massachusetts to help Grandma CC celebrate her 65th birthday. On the way, we stopped at Talyta’s Cafe in downtown Worcester for burritos, which, by the way, were legit and excellent. One problem, though: Talyta didn’t have a bathroom that we could use. So we ran across the street, through the wet drizzle-snow, to City Hall and used the bathrooms by the back door. The big brass bell in the lobby was installed at toddler-slapping level, so Otis and I slapped it.

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141 seconds of late night pool mayhem

We went down to Doylestown, PA for the funeral a few weeks ago. All of the hotels near town were booked so we ended up staying at the Staybridge Suites in Montgomeryville. We didn’t have a lot of extra time, but Pops pointed out that the hotel had a pool and suggested we bring suits. After a long drive down, we checked in and the front desk mentioned that the pool was open until 11:00pm. Otis was full of energy, ready for a dip and, as it turned out, every other kid in the hotel (including an entire boys lacrosse team) had the same idea.

Whatever Crank-Lloyd-Wright genius designed the place thought it would be good to put the pool in its own little cathedral-like pavilion. Not to sound like a curmudgeonly old fart, but the sound inside was deafening. We went to get dinner and left Otis with his grandparents. One of them (the real curmudgeonly old fart) attempted to protect his own hearing by stuffing wadded up pieces of toilet paper in his ears.

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19 seconds of bullfrogs heard on a run with Otis

Once the weather starts getting nice, Otis and I break out the jogging stroller and hit the trails. After a loop around the Bayside Cemetary, we heard some cool bullfrogs hanging out in the Raquette River.

I asked Otis if he thought we should make a recording and he gave me the go ahead. I crept down close to the water and held my phone out toward the sound. I’ve never heard frogs (at least I think they’re frogs) make this kind of swelling/creaking sound. Also audible: some small screeching bird, the distant sound of traffic, and various twigs and branches crackling in the breeze.

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129 seconds of bar chatter, song selection, and Stella by Starlight

Back in November, Bill asked me if I’d be down for some Thursday night jazz at the now-only-semi-open Buccaneer Lounge. The new UU minister in Canton, it turns out, plays bass and the two of them were looking for some percussion. I told him I had class the next morning so I could jam as long as he promised to have me home before bedtime.

You can hear legendary bartender Travis at the beginning warning some customer to avoid over-Buccaneering while we pick a tune and jump into it. (This was recorded on November 3, 2016. It clips a little, but Bill set the level so I take no responsibility.)

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60 seconds of birds in Mt. Gambier, South Australia

There are some pretty tremendous birds in Australia. At the holiday park in Anglesea I tried to record some magpies and kookaburras singing at the same time, but it started raining before I could get my phone out. Here instead is the throaty morning song of the some magpies with an occasional squawk from the Trotters’ peacock Captain.

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43 seconds of scary mystery noises [caution: loud]

I found this on my phone. Looking at the filenames in my recordings folder I see that I made just one other recording this night (April 29, 2016), but the two seconds of silence contained therein offer no clues. This recording has a lot more going on. I’m not sure what, but it sounds like Sarah saying “high-pitched” and then me swallowing the phone and belching as peristalsis runs its course.

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121 seconds of Otis observing bees and ladybugs on lilacs

There are several large lilac bushes behind our house. I love lilacs, so this was a big factor when we were buying the house. They don’t always bloom very much—you get much better flowers when you keep the bushes cut way back—but the last couple of years have been real humdingers.

I’m told that a good lilac spring follows a particularly wet winter. Whatever the reason, the past two Mays have made our yard a perfumed purple paradise. Otis was as excited about the fauna as I was about the flora.

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